Stacey has been feeling pretty horrible lately. She is really thirsty and tired all the time. In case you don't know Stacey is a Type 1 diabetic and a native New- Yorker. She lived in New York all her life until, in the summer before 7th grade she and her parents moved to Stoneybrook, Connecticut. Then, just after 8th grade had started, in book 13 she moved back to New York. Her parents promptly began fighting and they got divorced in book 28. Stacey's Mother moved back to Stoneybrook and her Father stayed in New York. When the book starts Stacey is starting to go off the diet that she has to stay on because of her diabetes. Stacey also has an upcoming weekend trip to visit her Father in New York. On the first night of the trip Stacey's father becomes worried when he hears her getting up in the middle of the night for water many times. Once, he actually confronts her and asks her to check her blood sugar. She refuses evasively and goes back to bed. In the morning they just up and leave for the hospital. Her mother comes and stays with the Cummings, leading to a whole fight about how her parents can't be in the same room as each other. At first she starts to feel better, but then she wakes up one day as bad as when she just came into the hospital. The BSC (minus Junior Members) chose that day of all days to come and visit! They also start an IV pumping insulin straight into her veins. It does bring her blood sugar down but something is wrong. Then they start mixing different types of insulin and Stacey gets better.
Lots of people have asked me why I created a character with diabetes. The answer to that question is that two of my friends are diabetic, so I knew a bit about the illness because of them. Of course, once the series began, I learned as much as I could about diabetes so that I could write about it realistically.
A number of books in the Baby-sitters Club series have dealt with medical issues. Anytime I write a book like that, I ask a doctor friend of mine to review it. Guess what? My friend is Claudia Werner, for whom Claudia Kishi was named.
Ironically, eight years after the series began, my cat Mouse developed diabetes, so I had firsthand experience with the illness. Mouse needed two insulin injections each day, and I had to monitor his food, water, and insulin intake very carefully. This was nothing like what Stacey has to go through, but it did give me more insight into the challenges she faces. Incidentally, for years Stacey has been one of the most popular characters in the series. I think it is because readers admire her courage and determination.